- Southampton 0 Arsenal 5
- Welbeck bags quick-fire brace
- Walcott makes it three before HT
- Walcott grabs hat-trick in second-half
Danny Welbeck scored a quick-fire brace in the first-half to mark his return to the first-team in emphatic fashion.
Theo Walcott scored a goal on either side of the break to add gloss to the score-line and with full-time looming, the Saints academy graduate completed his hattrick in the 84th minute.
It was a game of men against boys despite both managers deciding to field youthful line-ups for the FA Cup fourth round tie.
Southampton made 10 changes from the team that beat Liverpool to secure an EFL Cup final place on Wednesday, with Jack Stephens the only to keep his place.
Arsenal ran riot with returning forward Danny Welbeck ending his nightmare spell on the sidelines with a knee injury – with two impressive first-half goals.
In his first start since May 2016, the England international chipped his first in off the cross bar past the onrushing 19-year-old Southampton keeper Harry Lewis.
A few minutes later Lewis was beaten again by the former United forward, this time after an excellent ball over the top from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – Welbeck controlled with a sublime first touch, before sliding the ball beyond teenage keeper.
Welbeck’s contribution didn’t stop there as the third goal, he turned provider for Theo Walcott, which was the start of an explosive performance from the former Saints man.
It was really sloppy defending from the Saints but Walcott showed his extreme pace and desire by getting to the ball first before his marker Sam McQueen.
And after the break, the Gunners cruised to victory, with Alexis Sanchez coming on for Welbeck he set Walcott up for his second of the evening making it 4-0.
The Chilean was relentless despite the significant lead and with five minutes before full-time he set-up Walcott to complete his hatrrick on his old stomping ground – as Arsenal eased into the fifth round of England’s oldest cup competition.